Insignia NS–RTM18SS7 Refrigerator Review
Best Buy's house brand now sells major appliances
About the Insignia NS-RTM18SS7
The stainless model costs roughly $90 more than the basic white version.
About the Insignia NS-RTM18WH7
With an MSRP of $539.99 and sale prices as low as $499, the basic white version is one of the cheapest 18-cu.-ft. fridges you can by. It's $90 less than the stainless model.
Most large retailers have a store brand: Target has Archer Farms, Walmart has Sam’s Choice, and Sears has Kenmore and Craftsman.
Best Buy is no different, selling electronics under the Insignia label. Now, its added appliances to the mix. To see if Best Buy's store brand knew its way around the kitchen, we ordered a Insignia NS–RTM18 (MSRP $539.99-$629.99) top freezer refrigerator and put it through our refrigerator tests.
The bottom line? This is a cheap fridge, with sale prices dropping as low as $499. While that's a good price for a 18-cu.-ft. fridge, that's the only thing special about this entry-level Insignia, and other models from other brands are better values. Before you buy, check out our list of the top-rated fridges under $1,000.
Look and Feel
The NS–RTM18's unassuming exterior comes in either matte white or stainless, and the recessed handles help it blend in and make it easy to swap which side the door opens.
Inside, you’ve got your usual layout of glass shelves and white plastic, some of which offer a small degree of adjustability. It doesn't feel any cheaper than other inexpensive fridges, but the lighting in the fridge was inexcusably dim.
In terms of warranty coverage, you get one standard year of limited parts and labor. However, it's worth mentioning that some customer feedback indicates that getting Insignia products serviced can be uncommonly difficult. Unlike some in-house brands (notably Kenmore), there's no easy way to figure out what manufacturer actually makes Insignia, so you're stuck going through the store.
As for our performance tests, here are some highlights:
• At the middle “3” setting on the console, the whole fridge ran warm, especially down by the crispers—we clocked average temps of 43-44°F, so be sure to turn it down for optimal cooling.
• The freezer was also inconsistent over time, with enough fluctuation in temperature that you’ll want to keep an eye out for freezer burn.
• Crisper drawers let produce get too dry
• It's really energy efficient: At a rate of $0.11 per kWh, this fridge will only cost about $25 a year to run
In short, the NS–RTM18 is a good entry-level effort from a new brand, but other fridges from more established brands are better values. Consider the Frigidaire FFTR1814QW, which sometimes drops to below $500 on sale. Or if you can spend a little more, check out our guide to the best fridges under $1,000.
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